Where’s the love?

The Covington News - - SPORTS - SHA­KEEM HOL­LOWAY SPORTS EDITOR

Hey guys, ummm our United States Women’s Na­tional Soc­cer Team (USWNT) is play­ing in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Fi­nal and it should def­i­nitely be a thing and maybe it’s just me...but so far it’s not.

Among avid soc­cer fans, yes, the U.S. Women’s Na­tional Team is a thing, but among the more gen­eral pop­u­la­tion the girl’s haven’t got­ten any love. Last year peo­ple cam­paigned for a day off work just to sup­port our men on the world’s big­gest stage, so­cial media posts were filled with “I be­lieve that we will win” in some hash­tag or another from peo­ple who prob­a­bly had never watched a soc­cer game be­fore in their lives, yet here they were sup­port­ing good ol’ ‘Murica’ for the sake of sup­port­ing.

Last year the United States, a coun­try that only cares about the type of football that’s played in pads on Sun­days, caught fut­bol fever as the en­tire coun­try it seemed came to­gether to sup­port the United States Men’s Na­tional Team as they got bounced in the round-of-16 by Bel­gium. Some painted them­selves red, white and blue as they sat in over­crowded bars with a sense of unity as they shouted out Tim Howard’s name save af­ter save. Howard be­came a house­hold name, just like his USWNT coun­ter­part Hope Solo.

For some rea­son the women haven’t got­ten this level of sup­port de­spite them be­ing the bet­ter team by a mile. Four years ago they suf­fered a crush­ing de­feat to Ja­pan in a penalty shootout af­ter a 2-2 draw in ex­tra time. Now they’re back for vengeance and no­body’s talk­ing about it.

This is strange to me sim­ply be­cause I re­mem­ber ev­ery­one in The Cov­ing­ton News Of­fice hud­dling to­gether in a small con­fer­ence room with food and soda to watch the World Cup. It was, as they say, the talk of the town...ex­cept you should take out town and in­sert na­tion.

The sup­port was ev­ery­where, Face­book, Twit­ter, bar­ber­shops, gro­cery stores...etc. This year it hasn’t even been close and the women are ac­tu­ally win­ning.

Now I know last year it was dif­fer­ent be­cause a lot of games oc­curred dur­ing reg­u­lar work hours for the U.S. so the itch was there to watch while at work and col­lec­tively sup­port the team, but the media push, the nor­mal go USWNT and all of the “I be­lieve that we will win” com­mer­cials is ab­sent.

We’ve got tal­ent and big names on this USWNT in Abby Wam­bach, Alex Mor­gan, Ali Krieger, Me­gan Rapi­noe and of course Hope Solo.

The United States has been dom­i­nant in the Women’s World Cup since it be­gan in 1991, when the team went to China and won. For some rea­son, how­ever, the men get all of our sup­port and af­fec­tion while the women get lit­tle. Maybe it’s be­cause at this point we ex­pect them to win be­cause they’re the best. Or maybe we just don’t like watch­ing the women play. I don’t know.

The men’s teams have never been as good as the women, but we should sup­port them both equally. It’s not about the men ver­sus the women, it’s about US against the world, quite lit­er­ally. At 6 p.m. on Sun­day the USWNT will face Ja­pan and look to avenge its loss. I ex­pect the world to be watch­ing, but most im­por­tantly I ex­pect US to be watch­ing.

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